Friday marked Joel Embiid‘s second straight missed game due to left foot soreness, but head coach Doc Rivers said the team is confident that it won’t be a long-term injury, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
Rivers added that Embiid is “doing better,” but he isn’t sure how long the Sixers‘ star center will be sidelined.
Embiid landed on Jaxson Hayes‘ foot during the fourth quarter of Monday’s game vs. New Orleans.
The 28-year-old is having another incredible season, averaging 33.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.2 SPG and 1.7 BPG on .532/.341/.853 shooting through 28 games (35.5 MPG).
Even after dropping Friday’s game, Philadelphia still has a winning record (6-4) so far without Embiid this season, which is impressive considering how important he is to the team.
Here’s more on the Sixers:
- Backup big man Montrezl Harrell had a tumultuous offseason after being arrested on a felony marijuana trafficking charge, which was later reduced to misdemeanor possession charge. He wound up signing a two-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Sixers, and had a slow start to the 2022-23 season, splitting minutes with Paul Reed at backup center. However, he’s had a bigger role with Embiid sidelined, and it’s an opportunity he doesn’t take for granted, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I had a lot of stuff transpire … especially in the beginning of the season,” Harrell said Wednesday night. “So just to be able to be out here and play this game and still be able to call it my job is a blessing.” Harrell is averaging 18.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.0 SPG and 2.0 BPG in 25.4 MPG over the past two contests.
- Former Sixers center Andre Drummond said he was “definitely blindsided” by last season’s trade to the Nets, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Drummond, Seth Curry and Ben Simmons were shipped to Brooklyn for James Harden. Drummond wound up signing a two-year deal with the Bulls in the offseason, but he still has found memories of his time with the Sixers, per Mizell.
“They welcomed me. They made me feel very comfortable when I got here,” Drummond said Friday night. “We just had a lot of fun as a team. We really cared about each other. We had one common goal, which was to win as many games as possible and to be great. … “[It’s] sad that we had to break things up in February. Definitely miss playing here. … The city of Philadelphia, man, the fan base was one of a kind. I loved it here.”
- In his latest mailbag for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pompey writes that Rivers’ job should be safe until at least the offseason due to injuries to Embiid, Harden and Tyrese Maxey. The Sixers have gone 23-12 after a 0-3 start, and the starting lineup has only played six of 38 games together thus far. However, Pompey believes Rivers might get fired if the Sixers have another disappointing playoff exit. Pompey also thinks Philadelphia will keep its 15th roster spot open until at least the Feb. 9 trade deadline, if not longer.
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